Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano sulfur dioxide shoots up to new 2023 high on November 15

Acor Arceo

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Taal Volcano sulfur dioxide shoots up to new 2023 high on November 15

TAAL VOLCANO. A view of Taal Volcano Island on July 6, 2021.

Rappler

Phivolcs says a 'mild sulfur stench' was reported in Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo, Batangas, on Wednesday, November 15

MANILA, Philippines – Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission remains elevated, reaching a new 2023 high of 11,695 tons per day on Wednesday, November 15.

The previous high for the year was recorded only last Thursday, November 9, at 11,499 tons per day.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) noted that the volcano, located in Batangas province, has been “continuously degassing high concentrations” of SO2 since March 2021.

Since September 2023, emissions have averaged 6,267 tons per day.

Weak to moderate plumes, produced due to the upwelling or rising of volcanic fluids, were also observed on Wednesday.

Phivolcs said there was no volcanic smog or vog over the Taal area during the day, but a “mild sulfur stench” was reported in Barangay Banyaga in Agoncillo town.

“As a reminder, vog consists of fine droplets containing volcanic gas such as SO2 which is acidic and can cause irritation of the eyes, throat, and respiratory tract,” the agency said.

People with respiratory and heart illnesses, the elderly, pregnant women, and children are most vulnerable to vog.

In case of vog, people must stay indoors, shut doors and windows, use N95 face masks, and seek medical help if needed.

Taal also continues to show “moderate seismicity.” Of the 686 volcanic earthquakes recorded since September 1, 629 were “weak volcanic tremors associated with volcanic gas activity,” Phivolcs said.

Alert Level 1 has been in effect for Taal since July 11, 2022. Under Alert Level 1, there could be “sudden steam-driven or phreatic explosions, volcanic earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal accumulations or expulsions of volcanic gas.”

Entry into Taal Volcano Island, a permanent danger zone, remains prohibited. – Rappler.com

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.